Preventing Syphilis and STIs

Always practice safe sex, particularly with a new partner. Use condoms for intercourse and a dental dam (or condom cut in half) for oral/anal sex. Syphilis can be spread by skin-to-skin contact and a small sore may not be noticed by the carrier. Never share sex toys, and be vigilant about any skin rashes or unusual sores on the body, particularly after unprotected sexual contact.

Syphilis has been around for generations. It was eradicated in China and has only recently resurfaced due to cultural changes and the economic climate. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates current rates of syphilis at 12 million worldwide. Sexual health researchers are looking for more efficient ways to diagnose it – for example, via saliva tests, which are less invasive, and don’t have to be done in a clinic.

Regular STI testing is important throughout life. Don’t feel embarrassed to get tested, or to ask a new partner if they have the all clear. It’s safe sex and common sense. STIs can be treated if they are picked up in the early stages.

Get tested for Syphilis

Syphilis is treated with antibiotics. Later stages of the illness could require more aggressive treatment, possibly in a hospital. Act immediately and get tested today!

Get tested for STDs today
Mark Riegel, MD

Quick snapshot

Can it be cured?

Yes. Early stage syphilis is easily curable; Treatment is more difficult at later stages.

Type of Infection

Bacterial. Syphilis is caused by the bacterium ema pallidum.

How is it treated?

Antibiotics. A single injection of penicillin at early stage; Later stage treatment may require hospitilzation.

Recovery Time

Varies. Recovery from syphilis is not complete until all the sores are healed; Damage from the disease may be permanent.

Can I have sex?

No. Avoid sexual activity until the disease is fully cured.

Can I get re-infected?

Yes. Sexual intercourse with an infected partner can lead to re-infection.